How to Select the Floor You Need

Photo: Tarkett

Photo: Tarkett

Choosing a new floor is very exciting. You probably already have some ideas about the style you would like, but the following tips will help ensure you get the floor you want and need.

Floors can be installed over a variety of different surfaces:

  • Concrete, tiles, stone and marble – vinyl, laminate and wood
  • Wooden floor – vinyl, laminate and wood
  • Very short-pile carpet – vinyl, laminate and wood
  • Embossed vinyl – laminate and wood, but must be removed or covered for vinyl
  • Long-pile carpet – must be removed for all new floors

Which Floor for Which Room?

Entrance and Hallway – People coming and going will bring dirt and dampness into your home, putting special demands on this part of the floor. Choose a hard surface that can stand up to moderate dampness and is easy to clean.

Office – If keeping your office quiet for concentration and comfort is a top priority, you should consider floors with good acoustic properties. If you expect a lot of visitors, you’ll probably want a tough surface that won’t be easily damaged by office furnishings or heavy use. Floors with anti-static properties can be a wise investment if you use a lot of electrical equipment.

Kitchens –Spills and dropped food and equipment are a fact of life no matter how careful you are as a cook. Choose a floor that not only has good stain and traffic resistance, but that will also stand up to light moisture and repeated cleaning.

Bathrooms –Water makes the bathroom a challenging environment and you must be careful to select a floor that is water-resistant. In addition, for safety you’ll need to be sure that the floor won’t be slippery when it’s damp and that it will be easy to clean.

Bedroom –Your bedroom is often a very personal space so you’ll be looking at a wide range of decorative finishes. Don’t forget that looks are just part of the equation and that you’ll also want to be sure that it’s comfortable and warm for bare feet.

Kid’s Bedroom/Playroom –These bedrooms often have to accommodate a wide variety of play as well as sleep. To cope with active youngsters you’ll need a tough, practical floor that’s comfortable but also easy to look after and clean, and that will also help to keep noise levels down.

Living Room – You need a multi-purpose floor that reflects your style but can stand up to the challenge of a variety of activities. A tough surface that’s easy to clean and look after will reduce the time you need to spend keeping your living room looking good.

No one wants to spend every minute worrying about stains and cleaning. By choosing a floor that suits the area, you’ll cut down on the cleaning and general care you have to provide. You should also select a floor with the best possible surface protection.

Source: Tarkett

 

Are Floors Affected by Humidity?

Lauzan PhotoWhy have gaps appeared between the planks of my floor that weren’t there before?

Typically, ’gapping’ occurs when the humidity in the house falls below the recommended level. This causes a drying of the floorboards that results in slight shrinkage, creating gaps between the boards. You will often see this in the winter, especially in houses with dry heat. One way of mitigating the situation is to increase the humidity in the home.

Why is the humidity of a house so important with wood flooring?

Keeping the humidity at a recommended level is essential to a “healthy” home environment and for keeping a great hardwood floor. Wood is a natural material that reacts to changes in its environment. So it is important to keep humidity at recommended levels at all times, even when the home is unoccupied. Excess moisture causes wood to expand, and insufficient moisture causes it to contract.

Should I have a humidifier in my home if I have hardwood flooring?

That depends a lot on the climate where you live and type of heating you use in your home. In more temperate climates with variable humidity, they aren’t really required; but in cold, dry regions where homes are heated in winter, humidifiers can be very helpful, not just for the floors but for the comfort of people, plants and pets, too.

Source: Lauzon

 

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking New

Photo Courtesy: Bona

Photo Courtesy: Bona

All hardwood floors should be cleaned regularly. Simply sweep, dust mop or vacuum the floors with the beater bar turned off to remove dirt and grit from between the floorboards.

Avoid using a wet mop on hardwood floors as it can dull the finish or even damage the wood over long periods of time. Place scatter rugs at all entrances, avoiding those with rubber backs, which can discolor wood floors. Special rug mats that protect your floors from discoloration can be purchased from a wood flooring retailer. Scatter rugs will help keep outside dirt and other debris from scratching the floors. Scratches can also be prevented by placing floor protector pads on the bottoms of the legs of any furniture that come into direct contact with the floors.

When spills occur, they must be cleaned immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Allowing spills to remain on wood floors could damage the finish and possibly the wood. Avoid walking on floors with sports cleats or high heel shoes that are in disrepair. These can scratch the finish and even dent the floor.

Finally, when the floor begins to look a little dull, a recommended wood flooring cleaner should be used to renew the luster. Be sure to use the product as directed and verify it is compatible with that particular wood floor. Using the wrong type of cleaning product could damage the finish and possibly damage the wood, as well.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association